Patricio Hernández, CIO of MasterCard, announced that the company began the deployment of a new early detection system in Latin America. The system itself is not new; the United States and Europe already benefit from the protection it provides. It is new to Latin America though. Hernández explained that the system scanned the deep and dark web for credit card numbers and associated accounts.
The MasterCard CIO explained that credit card companies have become fully aware of what happens to stolen credit cards on the darknet. And in order to prevent credit card theft, harvesting, and distribution, the financial industry needs partners in various non-banking sectors. Cybersecurity experts and analysts from the National Security Agency included, he said.
Hernández explained that creating these partnerships was the initial challenge:
“This was the first challenge. It resulted in primarily external technologies. It is a combination of technologies typically from Fintech, which are founded by former officials of government security agencies, such as people from the NSA and that type of profile.”
He explained that the technology needed for a system that scanned the darknet was another hurdle. Developing something of the sort, too, could not be completed by a credit card company alone. Two of the security firms MasterCard worked with said that of all the sites on the darknet, 12 percent centered on electronic banking fraud.
MasterCard planned for a fourth quarter rollout in Latin America. The launch would be from Brazil. And by the end of the fourth quarter, he explained, they would hopefully be capable to expand the system all the way to Mexico. However, the Mexico expansion was not yet a sure thing; MasterCard needed to “initiate talks” with Banco de México and the National Banking and Securities Commission.
An early warning system for credit card numbers on the darknet was not the only advancement under MasterCard’s belt, the CIO explained. The company introduced a new form of plastic—and naturally a matching credit card—that could read fingerprints.
Hernández briefly touched on the concept:
“The cardholder registers it with his financial institution. In doing so, their fingerprints become a coded digital template that is stored in the plastic. At the time of purchase, the user inserts the card into the store terminal while placing his finger on the integrated sensor. If the biometric data agree, the transaction is approved without the card leaving the owner’s hand. In addition, the trade does not require any modification or update of hardware.”
And, in addition to the security advances, the company brought generation two of the company’s “Masterpass” payment platform. That too will launch in Brazil. “Highlights of the Masterpass platform include automatic digital wallet – a feature that promises to securely store user payment and shipping info,” ZDNet wrote.